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Programming and Programming Languages

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Computing is usually viewed as a technology field that advances at the breakneck speed of Moore’s Law. If we turn away even for a moment, we might miss a game-changing technological breakthrough or an earthshaking theoretical development. This book takes a different perspective, presenting computing as a science governed by fundamental principles that span all technologies. Computer science is a science of information processes. We need a new language to describe the science, and in this book Peter Denning and Craig Martell offer the great principles framework as just such a language. This is a book about the whole of computing—its algorithms, architectures, and designs.

Denning and Martell divide the great principles of computing into six categories: communication, computation, coordination, recollection, evaluation, and design. They begin with an introduction to computing, its history, its many interactions with other fields, its domains of practice, and the structure of the great principles framework. They go on to examine the great principles in different areas: information, machines, programming, computation, memory, parallelism, queueing, and design. Finally, they apply the great principles to networking, the Internet in particular.

Great Principles of Computing will be essential reading for professionals in science and engineering fields with a “computational” branch, for practitioners in computing who want overviews of less familiar areas of computer science, and for non-computer science majors who want an accessible entry way to the field.

A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists

The visual arts are rapidly changing as media moves into the web, mobile devices, and architecture. When designers and artists learn the basics of writing software, they develop a new form of literacy that enables them to create new media for the present, and to imagine future media that are beyond the capacities of current software tools. This book introduces this new literacy by teaching computer programming within the context of the visual arts. It offers a comprehensive reference and text for Processing (www.processing.org), an open-source programming language that can be used by students, artists, designers, architects, researchers, and anyone who wants to program images, animation, and interactivity. Written by Processing’s cofounders, the book offers a definitive reference for students and professionals. Tutorial chapters make up the bulk of the book; advanced professional projects from such domains as animation, performance, and installation are discussed in interviews with their creators.

This second edition has been thoroughly updated. It is the first book to offer in-depth coverage of Processing 2.0 and 3.0, and all examples have been updated for the new syntax. Every chapter has been revised, and new chapters introduce new ways to work with data and geometry. New “synthesis” chapters offer discussion and worked examples of such topics as sketching with code, modularity, and algorithms. New interviews have been added that cover a wider range of projects. “Extension” chapters are now offered online so they can be updated to keep pace with technological developments in such fields as computer vision and electronics.

Interviews
SUE.C, Larry Cuba, Mark Hansen, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Jürg Lehni, LettError, Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman, Benjamin Maus, Manfred Mohr, Ash Nehru, Josh On, Bob Sabiston, Jennifer Steinkamp, Jared Tarbell, Steph Thirion, Robert Winter

 

(Pr) Casey Reas from Protein® on Vimeo.

 

Basics and Extensions

Spreadsheets are used daily by millions of people for tasks that range from organizing a list of addresses to carrying out complex economic simulations. Spreadsheet programs are easy to learn and convenient to use because they have a clear visual model and a simple efficient underlying computational model. Yet although the basic spreadsheet model could be extended, improved, or otherwise experimented with in many ways, there is no coherently designed, reasonably efficient open source spreadsheet implementation that is a suitable platform for such experiments. This book fills the gap, teaching users how to experiment with and implement innovative spreadsheet functionality and introducing two software platforms for doing so. Along the way, it draws on and illustrates software technologies and computer science topics that range from object-oriented programming to compiler technology.

Spreadsheet Implementation Technology surveys a wide range of information about spreadsheets drawn from user experience, the scientific literature, and patents. After summarizing the spreadsheet computation model and the most important challenges for efficient recalculation, the book describes Corecalc, a core implementation of essential spreadsheet functionality suitable for practical experiments, and Funcalc, an extension of Corecalc that allows users to define their own functions without extraneous programming languages or loss of efficiency. It also shows the advantages of automatic function specialization and offers a user’s manual for Funcalc. The Corecalc and Funcalc software is downloadable free of charge.

A Pragmatic Introduction to the Coq Proof Assistant

The technology of mechanized program verification can play a supporting role in many kinds of research projects in computer science, and related tools for formal proof-checking are seeing increasing adoption in mathematics and engineering. This book provides an introduction to the Coq software for writing and checking mathematical proofs. It takes a practical engineering focus throughout, emphasizing techniques that will help users to build, understand, and maintain large Coq developments and minimize the cost of code change over time.

Two topics, rarely discussed elsewhere, are covered in detail: effective dependently typed programming (making productive use of a feature at the heart of the Coq system) and construction of domain-specific proof tactics. Almost every subject covered is also relevant to interactive computer theorem proving in general, not just program verification, demonstrated through examples of verified programs applied in many different sorts of formalizations. The book develops a unique automated proof style and applies it throughout; even experienced Coq users may benefit from reading about basic Coq concepts from this novel perspective. The book also offers a library of tactics, or programs that find proofs, designed for use with examples in the book. Readers will acquire the necessary skills to reimplement these tactics in other settings by the end of the book. All of the code appearing in the book is freely available online.

An Intuitive Approach

This book offers students and researchers a guide to distributed algorithms that emphasizes examples and exercises rather than the intricacies of mathematical models. It avoids mathematical argumentation, often a stumbling block for students, teaching algorithmic thought rather than proofs and logic. This approach allows the student to learn a large number of algorithms within a relatively short span of time. Algorithms are explained through brief, informal descriptions, illuminating examples, and practical exercises. The examples and exercises allow readers to understand algorithms intuitively and from different perspectives. Proof sketches, arguing the correctness of an algorithm or explaining the idea behind fundamental results, are also included. An appendix offers pseudocode descriptions of many algorithms.

Distributed algorithms are performed by a collection of computers that send messages to each other or by multiple software threads that use the same shared memory. The algorithms presented in the book are for the most part “classics,” selected because they shed light on the algorithmic design of distributed systems or on key issues in distributed computing and concurrent programming.

Distributed Algorithms can be used in courses for upper-level undergraduates or graduate students in computer science, or as a reference for researchers in the field.

Downloadable instructor resources available for this title: solution manual and slides

This book introduces students with little or no prior programming experience to the art of computational problem solving using Python and various Python libraries, including PyLab. It provides students with skills that will enable them to make productive use of computational techniques, including some of the tools and techniques of “data science” for using computation to model and interpret data. The book is based on an MIT course (which became the most popular course offered through MIT’s OpenCourseWare) and was developed for use not only in a conventional classroom but in a massive open online course (or MOOC) offered by the pioneering MIT-Harvard collaboration edX.

Students are introduced to Python and the basics of programming in the context of such computational concepts and techniques as exhaustive enumeration, bisection search, and efficient approximation algorithms. The book does not require knowledge of mathematics beyond high school algebra, but does assume that readers are comfortable with rigorous thinking and not intimidated by mathematical concepts. Although it covers such traditional topics as computational complexity and simple algorithms, the book focuses on a wide range of topics not found in most introductory texts, including information visualization, simulations to model randomness, computational techniques to understand data, and statistical techniques that inform (and misinform) as well as two related but relatively advanced topics: optimization problems and dynamic programming.

Introduction to Computation and Programming Using Python can serve as a stepping-stone to more advanced computer science courses, or as a basic grounding in computational problem solving for students in other disciplines.

A Foundational Approach

Starting from the premise that understanding the foundations of concurrent programming is key to developing distributed computing systems, this book first presents the fundamental theories of concurrent computing and then introduces the programming languages that help develop distributed computing systems at a high level of abstraction. The major theories of concurrent computation—including the π-calculus, the actor model, the join calculus, and mobile ambients—are explained with a focus on how they help design and reason about distributed and mobile computing systems. The book then presents programming languages that follow the theoretical models already described, including Pict, SALSA, and JoCaml. The parallel structure of the chapters in both part one (theory) and part two (practice) enable the reader not only to compare the different theories but also to see clearly how a programming language supports a theoretical model.

The book is unique in bridging the gap between the theory and the practice of programming distributed computing systems. It can be used as a textbook for graduate and advanced undergraduate students in computer science or as a reference for researchers in the area of programming technology for distributed computing. By presenting theory first, the book allows readers to focus on the essential components of concurrency, distribution, and mobility without getting bogged down in syntactic details of specific programming languages. Once the theory is understood, the practical part of implementing a system in an actual programming language becomes much easier.

This book introduces students with little or no prior programming experience to the art of computational problem solving using Python and various Python libraries, including PyLab. It provides students with skills that will enable them to make productive use of computational techniques, including some of the tools and techniques of “data science” for using computation to model and interpret data. The book is based on an MIT course (which became the most popular course offered through MIT’s OpenCourseWare) and was developed for use not only in a conventional classroom but in in a massive open online course (or MOOC) offered by the pioneering MIT–Harvard collaboration edX.

Students are introduced to Python and the basics of programming in the context of such computational concepts and techniques as exhaustive enumeration, bisection search, and efficient approximation algorithms. The book does not require knowledge of mathematics beyond high school algebra, but does assume that readers are comfortable with rigorous thinking and not intimidated by mathematical concepts. Although it covers such traditional topics as computational complexity and simple algorithms, the book focuses on a wide range of topics not found in most introductory texts, including information visualization, simulations to model randomness, computational techniques to understand data, and statistical techniques that inform (and misinform) as well as two related but relatively advanced topics: optimization problems and dynamic programming.

Introduction to Computation and Programming Using Python can serve as a stepping-stone to more advanced computer science courses, or as a basic grounding in computational problem solving for students in other disciplines.

The development of the Semantic Web, with machine-readable content, has the potential to revolutionize the World Wide Web and its uses. A Semantic Web Primer provides an introduction and guide to this continuously evolving field, describing its key ideas, languages, and technologies. Suitable for use as a textbook or for independent study by professionals, it concentrates on undergraduate-level fundamental concepts and techniques that will enable readers to proceed with building applications on their own and includes exercises, project descriptions, and annotated references to relevant online materials.

The third edition of this widely used text has been thoroughly updated, with significant new material that reflects a rapidly developing field. Treatment of the different languages (OWL2, rules) expands the coverage of RDF and OWL, defining the data model independently of XML and including coverage of N3/Turtle and RDFa. A chapter is devoted to OWL2, the new W3C standard. This edition also features additional coverage of the query language SPARQL, the rule language RIF and the possibility of interaction between rules and ontology languages and applications. The chapter on Semantic Web applications reflects the rapid developments of the past few years. A new chapter offers ideas for term projects. Additional material, including updates on the technological trends and research directions, can be found at http://www.semanticwebprimer.org.

Pixels, Numbers, and Programs

This book explores image processing from several perspectives: the creative, the theoretical (mainly mathematical), and the programmatical. It explains the basic principles of image processing, drawing on key concepts and techniques from mathematics, psychology of perception, computer science, and art, and introduces computer programming as a way to get more control over image processing operations. It does so without requiring college-level mathematics or prior programming experience. The content is supported by PixelMath, a freely available software program that helps the reader understand images as both visual and mathematical objects.

The first part of the book covers such topics as digital image representation, sampling, brightness and contrast, color models, geometric transformations, synthesizing images, stereograms, photomosaics, and fractals. The second part of the book introduces computer programming using an open-source version of the easy-to-learn Python language. It covers the basics of image analysis and pattern recognition, including edge detection, convolution, thresholding, contour representation, and K-nearest-neighbor classification. A chapter on computational photography explores such subjects as high-dynamic-range imaging, autofocusing, and methods for automatically inpainting to fill gaps or remove unwanted objects in a scene. Applications described include the design and implementation of an image-based game.

The PixelMath software provides a “transparent” view of digital images by allowing the user to view the RGB values of pixels by zooming in on an image. PixelMath provides three interfaces: the pixel calculator; the formula page, an advanced extension of the calculator; and the Python window.

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